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I just returned from eating a quick meal at Q-Doba, and I’m rather disappointed in the experience during this particular visit. Usually, Q-Doba is very tasty and scratches my itch for quick Mexican as long as there isn’t a line out the door (I’ll go elsewhere), but tonight the “process” was discouraging even though there was no line at all. Here’s why:

For starters, I walked in a good 45 minutes before closing time so it’s not like the employees were going to have to stay late because of my 15 minute (tops) pit stop. Plus, the employees have to stay afterwards to clean and close up shop so they’re going to be there anyway. Initially, I was thinking “maybe I am at fault for cutting it close on the time,” but that wasn’t the case upon further review.

The guy taking my order acted as if it was a MAJOR inconvenience to slop some rice, beans and chicken on a plate. Apparently, to get “back” at me for making him work, he royally skimped on the portions (especially the chicken) to the point I left almost as hungry as when I entered. Then the guy taking the money acted as if it was an inconvenience to take my money since he was having a conversation with one of his co-workers. Sorry, but your conversation about your test in a couple of days isn’t what you’re paid to do especially when paying customers enter the building.

All of this got me to pondering, “if Q-Doba’s CEO was watching all of this take place, what would he or she think?” Chances are, the service would have been extraordinary, and the portions would have been in line with their quality standards had an executive been monitoring the process.

This brings me to the take-home message: if you’re in a line of work where you interact with the public, pretend the CEO is watching every transaction, then ask yourself if you represented yourself in a manner that would please the CEO. If not, what would you do differently?

Providing quality service isn’t an inconvenience; it is part of your job, and it shouldn’t be that difficult a task to execute.

PS–this experience won’t dissuade me from visiting Q-Doba again, but a few more similar visits will chip away at an overall good impression of their chain.